Do not rush to build: A guide on how to handle your product ideas


By Aroyehun Damilola

You want to create a product which you think or feel will make life much better for humanity, that’s a very good intention and mindset. When such an idea comes to your mind, you conserve and nurture it.

In no time, after probably getting some few things in place, you launch out and start building. “They are not ready for this!” the thought screams in your head while thinking about your product and your heart dances with melody.

Do you know that there are a lot of people out there like you with so-called “brilliant” ideas for a product (especially in the technology space)?

Some folks have gone past just having the idea but they  have actually birthed it. They’ve built or created the product and it has landed, only for them to get a shocker that it is a real “big time” struggle getting people to use or at least like their product after lots of effort down the drain.

They struggle for some time and painfully realize that they didn’t carefully scrutinize the idea before running the rat race. This made them end up creating a product that is not actually needed or perhaps, they didn’t create it in the right way. The product might be “wanted” but not “needed” as people might have other alternatives (especially if you are not bringing something new or better to the table).

Also, that may not be the right timing for the product or they couldn’t get the right audience for the product.

These, amongst others, are reasons why there are lots of failed products out there today.

Trust me, a lot of people have built and are still building products that at the end of the day will not be in use. You sure don’t want to add to the numbers of failed products after giving so much: your time, resources, efforts, money to a project or product, only for it to become a waste.

When next that idea of a product hovers around your head and settles in your mind, you might even have one down already, do not just rush to build.

First, test and validate the idea if it is what people need. Is the product solving a pressing problem? People might like the product, but they will not use it if they don’t need it.

Find below practical steps to approach a product idea in order to save yourself from huge wastage and being caught up in a dead end of creating what people do not need.

Research on the problem

No product can thrive without it solving a problem. What problem will your product solve? Is it a pressing and urgent one that people are seriously craving a solution for? You want to be sure that your product is actually solving a problem, preferably a “pressing” problem. This is the first key to creating a product that people will use.

Research on the product’s target audience

Who are your product’s direct users? I mean who are the people facing the problem your product is providing a solution to? By all means, avoid the vague idea of thinking the whole world is your potential audience and market, because you can’t build for “everybody.” Start with being as specific as possible with your target audience, and in the long run you can expand your scope. What this helps you to do is to focus and know exactly what you are building and what you are not building. Very important!

You can also conduct interviews with your product’s potential users, this will help you see the problem from your users’ perspective and give you a better initiative on how to create your ‘solution’ product in a way that will best suit your users.

Research on the solution

After establishing that there is a problem, and knowing those who are primarily affected by this problem, you also want to ensure that the solution you are proffering is sound, feasible, viable and better than all other alternatives (if there are any).

Create a prototype and MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to test whether your solution solves your customers’ problem in a better way before you launch fully into building, and to get a glimpse of what your product users will do beyond what they say. This will help you get more practical knowledge of your product’s desirability and validity beyond assumptions. 

You can find out more things to do because they are not limited to these in order to ensure that your product is worth building and you are embarking on the right project.

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